T Nation

Helping Depressed Friends


aright, i was wondering if someone could help me out.

I have two friends, both are very depressed. One of them has tried  to kill himself a couple times, and if his roommate hadnt found him, he would be dead right now. I have been trying my hardest to get them to go to counseling and therapy. its even free at the university i go to. they REFUSE to go and get help.

what can i do or say that will make them start getting help? ive tried a handful of things to get them to go seek help, but they just wont.

i dont think having them institutionalized is the right thing because ive seen that make things a lot worse for a number of different people. they start to label themselves as a mental patient, they get ashamed and embarrased, and they can become even more hopeless if they are locked up and monitored. being monitored in a psychiatric ward often puts people over the edge.


I think if you ask their family members, they can legally have them submitted to a clinic that can help them. I know to some people that sounds very invasive, but after an attempted suicide, I would say that it's anything but unjustified.


thanks, ill try talking to their families. should i tell them that im talking to their family?


Probably not, I had a similar experience and my friend only got even more upset when he found out I notified his family/girlfriend of what had happened.

I suppose a Quick Reaction Force type technique is the best approach.


Maybe try playing them this video:

Kidding, but have you tried having a really rational talk with them? There is a good answer for every possible argument they could have for not going. Medication for depression is very effective in most people, I know first hand. Guaranteed, all it would take is a trip to the doctor to turn their life around. I don't really know what else to say. Just be supportive as you can, and try your best to make sure everyone else around he or she is supportive too.


1) Tie them up naked in the sun until their bodies start producing natural vitamin D

2) Force feed them omega-3's

3) Inject them with about a thousand milligrams of testosterone enanthate and see if they don't feel better.


Hmm...Two of your friends are depressed. Maybe you're the problem; tell them to get a new friend.


This is cute. :slightly_smiling:


If your friends don't want help then don't help them!

You must realize you are powerless over their problems. You can only give them your time and understanding.

I had a friend blow his brains out with a gun. There was nothing I could of done.

Personally I think you would be better off hanging out with more positive people.


Thats a tough situation. Unfortunately, most people get help when the want it, not when someone else thinks that they need it. On the other hand, if you could somehow stimulate them to want help, you may make some progress.


If you can prove the person is a danger to himself, you can get him committed. He might not like you afterwards though.


Do whatever you can to have them committed. It's tough to solve your problems after your dead. Call 911 next time they try/threaten to kill themselves. Who cares if they hate you for doing that? Result A: Alive. They hate you and never talk to you again. Later, they realize what a true friend you were. Result B: Dead. They "love" you and never talk to you again. The end.


thanks guys, and ive tried talking to them rationally about their issues, but it doesnt seem to be working.

seriously, thanks for the advice, i really am worried about having the one friend committed, but i guess him hating me is better than him being dead.


That's what they say on public service announcements.